Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fat and Happy

As promised in an earlier are a few photos from our amazing sister-in-law-in-law Stephanie Yonce.

Such an amazing gift!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Infertility is a bitch. Let's tell the world.

It's National Infertility Awareness Week!

What is that you ask?

It's simply a week to raise awareness of an invisible disease that affects so, so many me.

Before my husband and I started the process of seeking medical help for our journey....everything was hard.

Seeing friends become pregnant was hard.

Going to a baby shower was hard.

Hearing the wonderful news of a birth was hard.

Watching a nature show was hard.

Going shopping was hard.

Holidays were hard.

Nephews birthday parties were hard.

Going to work was hard.

Truly enjoying ourselves was hard.

We waited much too long before getting help.  But there were reasons for that.

Infertility (no matter who is at fault, the man, the woman or both) is a cold disease.  It can wear you down quickly, build you back up with one good appointment and then rip your heart out with a negative test result.
It not only strains your body, it strains your marriage, your finances, your other relationships...and your soul.

Treatment was not a conclusion we could have jumped to lightly.

We knew it would test us.  Test our patience, test our commitment, test our trust, test our hope.

This is why it took 5 years for us to get through the door of our infertility clinic for our first appointment.

At 35 weeks pregnant thanks to an IVF treatment with ICSI, it's surreal to sit here and think about where we were 5 years ago....where we were even a year ago.

As part of Infertility Awareness Week, NPR hosted a panel on the Trials and Tribulations of Assisted Reproduction  ( and it both broke my heart and lifted my spirits.

If you listen to the replay, at 29:40 one of the panelists says "you're experiencing infertility in a largely fertile world" made me remember how truly alone I felt in a massive, massive world...because everything around me seemed to be reproducing....except me.  My family members, the birds in our yard, the ridiculously gross-looking spiders on the Discovery channel........everything.

I remember feeling so alone (even though my family, friends and husband loved me incredibly well) that I wanted to just run away and disappear.

I know people that are at that stage now......they've admitted it to themselves that they are infertile....and they're not quite sure how to proceed....but they are sure of this....they feel incredibly alone.

I want so badly to be a resource for those that have questions about this disease...but I also know you can't force this information onto someone that isn't ready to receive it, or isn't willing to accept it.

We have many wonderful friends that helped pave the road for us by being open about their infertility experiences.  I can never thank them enough for that.

I only hope I can return the favor by being open about our story and possibly helping to pave the road for someone else.

I've said it before and I'll say it again....

Infertility is a bitch. 

Let's tell the world.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Life at the moment...

I'm disappointed that I haven't been blogging more about my pregnancy....but I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't be completely consumed by it....and while I feel completely consumed by it, I think I've done OK with not spending every waking moment thinking about it and talking about it.

At first glance, I LOOK completely consumed by pregnancy simply because I'm bigger than I ever imagined I could be in my life.  I have three chins, no ankles or knees, my arms look like huge sausages and even my neck seems to have puffed out.  I partly accuse my size on the fact that I'm now required to drink a protein shake every day but remain off my feet as much as possible: doctor's orders.  So, I'm not exercising at all and consuming MORE than ever before.  The result of this combination is not fabulous, but completely worth it if it keeps my baby healthy and safe.

I've reached the "uncomfortable" stage of pregnancy at this point with lots of backaches, leg cramps, foot cramps, rib aches, headaches, hip aches, etc.  

I feel baby moving around so much lately and at times, the movement is extremely uncomfortable...but so incredible at the same time. 

I never thought my life would revolve around a restroom, but right now, it does.

Anywhere I go, the first and last stop is usually the restroom.  If we're going to be outdoors for more than 30 minutes, I need to know where the nearest restroom/port-o-john is.  It's unbelievable!

We're less than 8 weeks away from the due date and the list of To Do's is getting longer....

Tour the hospital
Take a birthing class
Pack a bag for the hospital
Figure out (if at all) the birthing plan
Figure out where Kozy will go when we're at the hospital
Figure out when my Mom should fly in
Pick up items we'll need for baby that we don't get from registry
Wash baby bedding/clothing/etc.
Take a "how not to kill your baby" class

There's probably more and I'm just forgetting at the moment....

Anyhow, that's the pregnancy part of life at the moment...

Other parts of life at the moment...

Jody will be competing in a few SUP races this month and next, and I'm soooooo jealous and disappointed that I can't participate.  I did get on a SUP board last weekend (VERY SHORT EASY PADDLE MOM AND DAD) for a photo shoot we did with our lovely sister-in-law-in-law.  ; )  I hope to have photos to share soon!  It felt absolutely incredible to be back on a board, on the water.  I've missed it so, so much.  It did wonders for my spirit.

Work has been more stressful lately and making me second guess my decision to return to work after having this baby.  I love the majority of the people I work with, but there are a select few that bring out the ultimate negativity in me and that's just not healthy.  I owe it to myself to rethink my life goals included and whether or not I want to be around people like this for much longer.

Thankfully, I've been able to spend some time with friends (even with crazy schedules and lack of movement on my part).  We recently celebrated a dear friends birthday with her annual talent show and it was so much fun.  I've had numerous brunch and coffee dates with other dear friends too and it just makes me so grateful to have these people in my life.  When you don't have your immediate family within driving's so, so important to have another support system in place.

I haven't had much time for anything else really.

Time is moving along quite quickly......and before we know it...we'll meet our little one and have a whole new adventure to blog about.  Don't worry though, I promise the entire blog will not be baby-related!  ; )

Life without Kea, a year later...

We lost our Kea girl a year ago today.  And while it's only been a year, it feels as though it's been much longer since we last cuddled with our little "baby cakes".

Jody and I got Kea while we were still dating (we were both in the Air Force and living together in a basement that we rented from another AF acquaintance at the time).

We didn't mean to purchase her from a pet store...we were simply going to "look" to see what type of dog we wanted.  And there she was....the smallest and unhealthiest looking puppy I'd ever seen.  We knew we wanted her the moment we saw her.  And we knew we needed to get her out of that pet store.

And so, little Kealoha Lani Des Roches joined our tribe.

We tried fattening her up as quickly as possible but as she continued to grow, we realized this was a typical boxer remain skinny and lean.

Kea was a delightful part of our lives, but in all honesty, she and I didn't have the best of relationships at the start.  We were both females competing for Jody's attention.  And she was MUCH cuter than me, so she often won those battles.  ; )

Kea and Jody had a bond I'd never seen between human and animal before.

I'd grown up without pets so to witness the devotion Kea had for was amazing...and wonderful....and completely endearing.

Nothing could keep Kea away from Jody.  Nothing.

At one point (after I'd moved back home to Hawaii and Jody stayed in Colorado) Kea jumped out of the back of Jody's car while he ran in to a Home Depot.  According to witnesses, she apparently ran straight for the Depot entrance to follow Jody in but someone saw her and tried to corral her and she ran off in the opposite direction. This Home Depot was many miles from where Jody lived at the time.

I remember getting the call from Jody that she'd run off....I'd never heard him so frantic in the 2 years I'd known him.

She went missing for days.

My heart hurt for Jody.  I knew he'd be devastated if anything happened to her.

And then a few days later, I got another call from Jody.

A family had found Kea walking on the side of the road and took her in.  She hadn't been wearing a collar but they checked with the local animal shelters (each of which had been called by Jody and given a description of Kea) and they were able to get in touch with Jody.

The road where the family found her was apparently half way between the Home Depot and home.

I truly believe she was making her way back to Jody.

When Jody and I got married, I'd had Gridgery for about a year.  Gridge and Kea met for the first time in the back of Jody's car while we said our vows in a Vegas drive-thru wedding. 

When the four of us moved in together....Kea and Gridge didn't really know what to make of each other...

They didn't really play, they didn't fight, they just kind of....tolerated one another.

Four weeks and a new bed spread later...they were inseparable...

We were a family of four.....

My relationship with Kea was drastically different at that point.  No longer did we compete for Jody's attention.  There were four of us.  Jody had Kea, I had Gridge.  And if Jody wanted to cuddle with me, Kea could cuddle with Gridge.

Though most of the time, both Kea and Gridge just wanted to cuddle with us...

Life with these pups was absolutely wonderful.  Obviously we had our ups and downs....but they both taught us so much...

love, patience, devotion, responsibility.

We were so lucky to have two magical souls in our lives for the time we did.

A year ago today since her passing and I feel guilty in admitting that I haven't grieved as much over the loss of Kea as I did over the loss of Gridge.  Obviously the bonds were different.  Kea was Jody's dog.  Gridge was my dog.  But I think the other reason is because we've had so much going on.

When we lost Gridge to cancer, we had just purchased a house and while that was definitely a HUGE distraction from my grief, it only kept my grief at bay for a little while.

When we lost Kea, we were just heading to Hawaii for a 3 week stay, we were in the middle of infertility treatments, we had a LOT of recreational activities taking place, we'd adopted another boxer....there was just so much going on that I couldn't possibly let myself get lost in my grief.  I don't know if Jody feels the same way.  We deal with grief differently.  But I know he misses his Kea-girl.

Thank you Kea and Gridge for loving us so well.